Though we remain skeptical of his motives - and we love to kid around with our elected officials - we'd like to say, "Thanks, councilman." - Troy Graham
Bar expansion not political, councilman says
Finnigan's Wake on Spring Garden Street is already the place to party if you are a Democrat or a police officer. Thanks to legislation passed Thursday by City Council, the bar and catering hall is set to become even more of a recreation destination.
The legislation, sponsored by First District Councilman Mark Squilla, will allow Finnigan's Wake to add two balconies over the Spring Garden sidewalk and create a dining patio and landscaped area on Bodine Street.
Finnigan's Wake owner Mike Driscoll is a Democratic committeeman, and the local party is building a new headquarters near the bar, but Squilla said politics had nothing to do with the bills.
The councilman said he believed the legislation would help the business expand. He also has confidence that the facility's owners will work hard to compromise with neighbors who dislike the balconies.
Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, was skeptical. Neighbors already have problems with noise and rowdy behavior at Finnigan's, he said, and believe the balconies will only add to the problem.
"We're stuck in a situation where balconies have just become legal, and they never should have been," Ruben said. - Miriam Hill
Summer session: Who's to blame?
Council has added another meeting for June 28, cutting into what was supposed to be the summer recess.
The move, though necessary, was never going to be popular with Council members, especially those who had planned to be away next week.
Which is probably why Council President Darrell L. Clarke appeared somewhat dismayed Thursday when Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr. said the motion to schedule another meeting was being introduced on Clarke's behalf.
"I don't think it was in the script as being 'on my behalf,' " he chuckled. - Troy Graham